It’s a Friday night at Shakedown and taking to the stage are The Pulpit, hoping to impress an audience spoiled by the quality bands on show in recent times. The Pulpit are a three piece consisting of Laura Lovejoy on guitar and vocals, Evan O’ Leary on synthesizer and Neil Mooney on drums. They describe themselves as surf-pop, their influences ranging from The Cramps to The Pet Shop Boys. It’s going to be very impressive or a bit embarrassing...
There’s perhaps nothing worse than something Irish trying to be something its not, and Irish bands striving for Orange County have come and gone, leaving cringing audiences in their wake. But genres make us lazy and when your good, stereotypes need not apply. Such is the case with The Pulpit; their creative output is driven by an energy that sets them apart from standard acts.
The tone is set from the start with ‘Everyday Authority’ capturing the audiences attention immediately, Lovejoy’s guitar coursing through their sound, heads nodding in approval. ‘Political Correctness Gone Mad’, the first track on the bands EP, is witty and brave, challenging the hypocritical cynicism in society. The bands members are each very good at their individual roles and they combine to create something really cool. The drums and synthesizer are tight and precise, creating a platform for the ranging riffs, their diversity demonstrated over the course of the set list. ‘I’m a Wonderful Human Being’ slows things down a little bit, Lovejoy’s voice suited to the optimism in the lyrics. She has quite a unique voice that sounds composed and edgy at the same time.
‘Love is Denied’ sounds a lot like The Coral with a female singer, an interesting mix indeed. The crowd is fully enthralled by the time ‘We are the Pulpit’ is delivered, an instrumental track that, as its title suggests, encapsulates the essence of the band. Its fast, energetic, funky and the crowd just love it. The band has a collective confidence that only comes with a lot of effort and in turn allows their substantial talent to emerge. Their sound is as full and effective as it needs to be, and within their capabilities they can create music that sounds innovative and diverse.
They are striking in that they seem to know exactly what they want to be, something that many young bands strive for, but few achieve. Before the end they cover Blondie’s ‘Call Me’, a nod to the days gone by when music was cool because that’s what music was. But in the era of materialistic whining, where cool is a packaged good, The Pulpit are taking from the past to give to the present. Those lucky enough to have heard them already are better off for the experience, and if you haven’t you could do a lot worse than listen here.
REview by Brian Morrissey